Updated: Nov 15, 2019
The holidays are just days away and some people are starting to worry about the extra calories that are looming on the horizon. You may be thinking about Thanksgiving and the turkey, stuffing, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and pies. Do you feel your waistband expanding slightly? Well, I'm here to give you some easy cooking swaps so you won't put on the holiday pounds!
1. Ditch the dairy!
Dairy has so much fat, and we are talking the saturated fat. The more dairy the more calories in the food. Choose easy swaps instead of dairy! If you need to use heavy cream use coconut cream. If you need to use milk try nut milk or coconut milk! Try vegan sour cream and vegan cheese in place of traditional cheeses. If you need a cheese sauce try out a cashew and nutritional yeast cheese sauce. You could be dropping hundreds of calories from your dishes and you are eating more nutrient-dense foods.
2. Swap chicken stock for veggie stock
If you use chicken broth or stock to cook with then swap it out for veggie stock. You will drop fat and you will increase nutrients. Plus, you will add so much flavor to your dishes. If you are steaming green beans for green bean casserole steam them in veggie broth!
3. Try coconut sugar instead of regular sugar
When you are making pies turn to coconut sugar for sweetness instead of cane or white sugar. Coconut sugar actually retains nutrients and enzymes so your body will digest it like food instead of just shooting sugar into your bloodstream. Coconut sugar looks like brown sugar and it is great to use for fillings for pies!
4. Swap dairy-based whipped cream for coconut whipped cream
Drop the heavy whipped cream and use coconut whipped cream instead! You can try So Delicious coconut whipped cream or even get spray coconut whipped cream. It will cut your calories in half and will still taste rich and delicious. I personally love coconut whipped cream on pumpkin pie!
5. Use mushroom gravy
Instead of using animal gravy that is full of tons of saturated fat use mushroom gravy! It doesn't have any fat and it's still very flavorful!
6. Use real pumpkin
Instead of a can of pumpkin puree or use 100% real pumpkin and make sure the label has only pumpkin in the ingredients list. You will save yourself the extra calories of sugar
7. Make your own!
When it comes to cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes it's best to make your own. There is high fructose corn syrup in canned cranberries and that is terrible for you. Boxed mashed potatoes are chaulked full of hydrogenated oils and other preservatives that you just don't need in your life. Make real mashed potatoes and skip all of the chemicals! Use vegan butter, garlic, and some herbs and get some delicious garlic rosemary mashed potatoes!
I hope this was helpful and will make you think about your holiday menu a little differently!